Vintage Patterns

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Vintage Lace Instructions

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The outlines of any design in Point Lace are made in braid of various sorts, in thread, or sometimes in linen. The braid used is either French linen or cotton braid, or that now known as Italian braid. French braid is a simple plait, more or less wide; Italian braid is, in fact, a pillow lace insertion, somewhat resembling a tape, but with edges like those seen in all other pillow lace. It enters very much into the composition of Venetian and other valuable Italian lace, whence the name Italian braid has been given to it. Point lace used formerly to be worked on parchment, this, however, being very hard and stiff, is not so pleasant a material to work on as coloured paper, which may be lined with calico or alpaca, according to the word*work intended to be done.

French braid, whether made of linen or of cotton, is laid on the pattern with stitches taken across it, from one edge to the other. This mode of putting on braid prevents it from stretching, as, from the nature of the plait, it would otherwise do. In forming angles, each edge should be sewn down to the paper, and then the braid turned over. Circles are made by laying the braid on the design, and forming it into the proper shape with the fingers, before tacking it down.

We give a diagram showing the manner in which lines of braid cross and intersect each other, to form the pattern; and we would observe, en passant, that each line is done with a separate piece of braid, that from A to B being one piece, and from C to D another.

Italian braid, being so much wider, requires to be tacked down at both edges; and in forming circles and scrolls, one edge has, not unfrequently, to be gathered in slightly. When thread is used as an outline, a second, and much finer thread is used to tack it down. The coarse thread is laid on the outlines, and the needle is brought up on one side of it, and down, in the same hole, on the other. The stitches are taken at the rate of five or six to an inch, one being always placed at the point of each angle, so as to keep the outlines as accurate as possible. To fasten on a thread, run the needle along the braid a little way, taking a button-hole stitch to secure it. Fasten off in the same manner. If the outlines are in thread, you can twist the needle round it two or three times, and then take a tight button-hole stitch.

POINT LACE Materials Needed.

The materials required for this elegant branch of needlework are neither numerous nor expensive. TRACING CLOTH, LEATHER, or TOILE CIRÉE, various BRAIDS and CORDS, LINEN THREAD and two or three sizes of needles, scissors and thimble. TRACING CLOTH is required when ladies copy point lace patterns, and is the most convenient mode of taking them, as the design can be worked upon the tracing cloth, which, though transparent, is very strong; the price is 1s. 6d. per yard. Fine LEATHER is the material upon which bought patterns are usually traced, and is decidedly more pleasant to work on than is any other material. In selecting patterns ladies should choose those traced upon green leather in preference to scarlet or buff, as green is better for the eyesight than any other colour.

Point Lace Scissors.

TOILE CIRÉE is only a substitute for leather, and is not as pleasant to work upon in warm weather.

The needles employed are usually Messrs. Walker's needles, Nos. 9 and 10. The scissors should be small, sharp, and pointed, as in illustration No. 425. An ivory thimble may be safely employed in this light work.

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